Edinburgh v Newcastle: three summer signings in Mike Blair’s starting line-up

Mike Blair
Mike Blair at Edinburgh's open day. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

MIKE Blair’s first selection as Edinburgh’s head coach includes three of this summer’s new arrivals in the starting 15, with several others on the bench. Ben Vellacott is at scrum-half, Luan de Bruin is at tighthead prop and Henry Immelman is at full-back for tomorrow’s friendly against Newcastle, while Argentine international Ramiro Moyano is listed among the substitutes along with Harry Lloyd, Adam McBurney and Pierce Phillips. 

The game against the Falcons will be the first at the new Edinburgh Rugby Stadium (ERS for short) and will also see spectators return in substantial numbers for the first time since before the pandemic.

“This Saturday we celebrate something much bigger than 80 minutes,” Blair said after announcing his team. “It’s an exciting moment in Edinburgh Rugby’s history and a fresh start that our supporters, players and everyone connected to the club have been looking forward to.

“As a team, we cannot wait to run out into the ERS for the first time, and to do so in front of our supporters, who’ve waited so patiently for this day through the midst of a pandemic, will be a really special moment.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season so far and the boys have worked incredibly hard to get themselves match ready for this first hit out. This game gives the players the opportunity to put that hard work and effort they’ve given throughout pre-season onto the pitch. They’ve all put in the hard yards during the last few months and now it’s about playing rugby.”

Southern Knights players Patrick Anderson and Daniel Suddon are part of the 17-man bench.

Edinburgh (v Newcastle Falcons at the ERS, Saturday 3pm): Henry Immelman; Jack Blain, Mark Bennett, Cammy Hutchison, Damien Hoyland; Jaco van der Walt, Ben Vellacott; Boan Venter, David Cherry (captain), Luan de Bruin, Marshall Sykes, Jamie Hodgson, Magnus Bradbury, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining. Substitutes: Pierre Schoeman, Harry Lloyd, Adam McBurney, Patrick Harrison, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Angus Williams, Pierce Phillips, Daniel Suddon, Ben Muncaster, Connor Boyle, Charlie Shiel, Henry Pyrgos, Charlie Savala, Ramiro Moyano, Jordan Venter, James Johnstone, Patrick Anderson.

Unavailable due to injury: Matt Currie, Chris Dean, Ben Evans, Darcy Graham, Jake Henry, James Lang, Viliame Mata, Harri Morris, WP Nel, Harry Paterson, Nathan Sweeney, Ben Toolis, George Taylor, Glen Young.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1436 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.


  1. Would Like to have seen what Savala can offer at 10. We already know what Van der Walt is about and frankly I’m unimpressed. Giving him a cap was one of Toony’s dafter moments and Edinburgh badly need to nail down that 10 position convincingly. Encouraging to see Hutchison starting though. So much talent, so much time to catch up on. Overall this looks a strong squad when fit. But 14 guys on the treatment table before the season even starts is not good. Nearly one third of the squad.

  2. The excitement builds and its only a pre-season. New stadium, new style and new players. Great to see some super 6 exposure on the bench. I’m hoping the refreshment situation is better than the Lion’s game. Live rugby, I can’t wait!

  3. A bit too early to read much into who is or isn’t starting but wow, 14 players already injured or carrying something from last season. That seems a worryingly high number.

    • Seems to be a constant theme with both our pro sides….really can’t think why we carry so many injuries consistently.

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